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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Putting “Care" in Recruitment with Facebook

Finalist in Government & Politics

Entered in Facebook, Customer Service


While the majority of employers in North America believe that they can't use Facebook for recruiting, the City of Edmonton has proven otherwise!

The objective of the "City of Edmonton Jobs" Facebook page is to provide applicants with all of the information they require to support them in their job search and to let them know that we care. Our hope is that this will inspire them to consider working for the City whether now or sometime in the future.

Our Facebook recruiting strategy revolves around three distinct content categories:

1) Educational/Inspirational - We curate content from industry recognized career blogs and create in-house content to help our applicants with their job search needs. We also post inspirational content in the form of motivational quotes, articles and videos.

2) Virtual Support – We provide applicants with virtual support through our weekly "Ask a Recruiter" session on Facebook where we answer questions related to our job postings and hiring processes.

3) Creative Job Advertisements - We inspire our candidates to apply for our jobs by writing creative job ads that sound significantly different from typical job postings. 43% of our job applications from Facebook come from our creative job ads.

This has resulted in growing our fan base from 0 to 70,946 and increasing our job applications from 0 to 890 per month in just two years!

Other successes include reaching 82% of our fan base organically, reducing advertising costs to 0.07 cents per click, and hiring hard-to-recruit talent for $35.38/per hire.

Strategy and Execution

By leveraging Facebook, the City of Edmonton has been able to put "care" into the recruitment process and stay in touch with our citizens.

Traditionally job seekers fall into a black hole of applicant tracking systems for weeks and then majority of them get rejection emails letting them know they were not successful at this time! Through our weekly "Ask a Recruiter" sessions on Facebook, we are able to give feedback to our applicants who did not get interviews with the City every week. This level of applicant support is first of its kind in Canada. We show that we care, which is a huge improvement on the we-could-care-less attitude that so many other employers show applicants every day.

Seven of our recruiters post to the page every day of the week, including holidays and weekends. This way our content is always fresh which encourages our fans to visit us frequently. The "on duty" recruiter will also follow up on comments and respond to applicant questions. For example, a hearing impaired applicant indicated that she was discouraged by not receiving any interviews. Our diversity recruiter provided the individual with application tips, which helped her subsequently get hired.

After receiving many comments on our Facebook page about citizens not getting interviews, we initiated a monthly contest whereby one of our most engaged fans wins a one-hour resume makeover session with one of our recruiters. Through these coaching sessions, we get to help our citizens in person who want to work for the City of Edmonton. This program is also one of a kind in Canada.

Following our success of hosting Canada's 1st Facebook virtual career fair in March, 2014, we hosted Canada's 1st student career fair on our Facebook page on September 18th, 2014. Hundreds of students from many Universities and Colleges across Canada tuned in to interact with our campus recruiter and hiring managers. A follow up survey indicated that 95.8% students who attended the fair would consider working for the City of Edmonton.

We have also run specialized campaigns on Facebook for hard to fill positions. For example, after posting a heavy-duty mechanic job for multiple weeks on more traditional sites, we realized that heavy-duty mechanics just weren't applying. So we initiated a Facebook advertising campaign that yielded amazing results. In a matter of 3 days, 347 mechanics clicked on our Facebook ad and 182 applied. Out of 182 applications, 99 were qualified, and, to date, we have interviewed 5 and hired 1. Moreover, we spent only $176.88 on the Facebook advertisement or $1.78 per qualified applicant and $35.38 per hire - the lowest costs in the City's recruiting history of hiring heavy-duty mechanics!

Our Facebook recruiting metrics and results:

In summary, Facebook allows the City of Edmonton to reach out to thousands of applicants to make them aware of the vast range of opportunities that the City offers, assist them through the application process, and provide them with constructive feedback. Here's an example of customer service provided through Facebook to help improve our recruitment process: .

Through thoughtful implementation, ongoing dedication of the team, and constant innovation, Facebook allows us to add the "care" back into recruitment! So we will be humbled if given this prestigious award our team has worked so hard for including weekends since November 2012. This will empower us to continue innovating in the realm of Facebook recruiting. Thank you!


Video for Putting “Care" in Recruitment with Facebook

Entrant Company / Organization Name

City of Edmonton


Entry Credits